The historic centre of Guimarães is known for its medieval building techniques, that have been transmitted to the Portuguese colonies. This well-preserved town shows the evolution of this techniques from the 15th to the 19th centuries.
Notable constructions include:
- The half-timbered houses
- Church of Nossa Senhora da Oliveira
- Palace of the Dukes of Bragança
- Town Hall
Guimaraes played an important role in the formation of Portugal in the 12th century. The region was given as a feudal property to the family that created the country in the 12th century. In 1139 Count Dom Afonso Henriques declared the independence of Portugal from León and took the name of Afonso I as the first king of the new kingdom.
Visit December 2002
I didn't know what to expect of Guimaraes, and my first evening (when it was raining) I walked around town a bit lost.
What a difference the next day was! The sunny Sunday morning started with a walk to Guimaraes castle. Although totally empty and crumbled down on the inside, the view of the outside is very picturesque.
After that I went to the small but very distinctive historical city center. You see a lot of wooden balconies and azulejos here.
More photos can be found in the Picture Gallery
|John Booth (New Zealand):|
Other interesting features in Guimaraes were the five Stations of the Cross to be found around the town, the church of Our Lady of the Olive Tree and the Santa Clara convent.
| Date posted: April 2010|
|Meiri Parma (Finland):|
Guimarães is all up and downs, hill after hill. It is very beautiful and it whispers the stories of old times.
The sidewalks are decorated with stones, many different colors and figures.
For finnish people, it is funny to see flags -very similar as finnish flag- hanging all over the old town. This blue crossed white flag is the old Portugese flag from the time of kindom.
| Date posted: December 2009|
|Frederik Dawson (Netherlands):|
As you enter Guimarães, a small historic town in northern Portugal near Porto, you may think this is just a normal Portuguese old town until you see a huge inscription “AQUI NASCEU PORTUGAL” on the building which means “Here is the birthplace of Portugal” then you know this town is quite special (at least).
Guimarães is associated with Portuguese first true king, Afonso Henriques who drove the Moors out of Tejo river area which is now central Portugal. His castle on the hill above the old town is quite spooky with many turrets but enchanted by medieval felling. Near the castle is the recent restored Ducal Palace or presidential palace which is famous for it chimneys, however it is not interesting compared to the castle since it is just a big manor.
The old town is a very pretty medieval quarter with many colorful balconied houses and nice churches. The symbol of the city is its unique 14th century town hall which was constructed on many pillars. My favorite is Igreja de Sao Gualter with its beautiful façade and lovely esplanade in front of the church.
Guimarães is a nice lovely town and very important for Portuguese; however, for foreigner like me this town is not special as I had expected. The town is so small and I spent only half day to see all attractions. I did not conclude that Guimarães is not a good place, the town is beautiful but when compared to Porto or Braga, Guimarães is just a second rate tourist attraction.
But if you want to see the Aqui Nasceu Portugal and appreciate the meaning of the Portugal state seal which is on the back of Portuguese euro coin, Guimarães is the place and local people will proudly explain the meaning to you as it associated to their lovely homes. From Porto central station, there are many trains go to Guimarães making a perfect half day excursion from Porto.
| Date posted: September 2006|
|ivan mandy (Philippines):|
Guimaraes is a cute little town at the foot of a mountain. Its not spectacularly amazing but it does exude a certain Iberian charm that is so typcial in these part of the world
| Date posted: July 2006|
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